ML Journal August 2021

ML Journal August 2021

Cyber Paradigm Shift

OT cybersecurity has new importance for the future, believes Dragos VP, Peter Vescuso.   

Q: What is your role and focus at the company?
A: As Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Dragos, my focus is on building our reputation as the authority on industrial cybersecurity and developing strategic partnerships that extend and enhance our ability to meet customer needs.

Q: What do you see as the most pressing issue facing the manufacturing industry today?
: Recent headlines about cyberattacks on manufacturing companies raise awareness about a challenge that has been growing under the radar for quite some time. Increasing connectivity is essential to improving operational efficiency, quality, and business continuity, but it also increases risk. Breaches of manufacturing operations rarely became public in the past; hence general awareness was low. That’s now changed and is causing a paradigm shift with security executives. OT cybersecurity has taken on new importance for the future.

Q: What is the most important corporate initiative you are involved in at the moment?
A: Our focus is on educating the manufacturing community on operational cybersecurity challenges and solutions. While IT cybersecurity has been a focus of investment for many years, awareness of the exposure and the different approaches needed for operational technology (OT), is new. You can’t copy and paste an IT cyber approach into an OT environment. The tech is different. You can’t easily shut down and patch physical processes.

Q: What will be the most important leadership qualities that manufacturing leaders will need to possess in the future?
A: Risk management is critical. I see the benefits Industry 4.0 technologies and digitizing operations can bring to the bottom line and competitive advantage. But that needs to be balanced with investment to manage the increased risk to manufacturing operations. Dragos works with leaders of risk programs to help measure, manage, track, and communicate potential impacts of cyber security events for OT environments.

Q: What do you see as the greatest opportunities for manufacturers over the next five years?
No doubt that digitalizing operations and new technologies to transform manufacturing is the greatest opportunity. Doing that safely and securely, and helping accelerate that transformation, is what Dragos is committed to do. Our mission is Safeguarding Civilization.  We’re committed to that for our customers, for the community, and the greater good.

Q: What is your favourite activity outside work, or the last book you read?
A: I’m a dedicated cyclist. I’m out on my road bike almost every day with friends. We meet at 5:45am to get a ride in before work. And I try to work in cycling vacations whenever I can, with Italy being my favorite country to tour; Bike-Eat-Drink-Sleep!   M

Title: Vice President, Marketing
Company: Dragos
HQ: Hanover, MD
People: 320 Employees
Revenues: Privately held
Industry: Industrial Cybersecurity (for ICS/OT)

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